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Wellness

Isolation Doesn’t Have to Mean Loneliness

I fall easily back into patterns of isolation when I’m at home. Quarantine has brought back the reality that I can literally exist on my own without realizing that I haven’t spoken to anyone for hours, which then turns into days, that somehow turns into WEEKS. And it’s not even that I don’t want to talk to my friends, it’s just that I feel like I have nothing to talk about. 

On top of that, I’m a chronically awful texter. I’ll be consistent at replying for maybe like, 2 minutes, but then I just forget. And then by the time I want to reply again, it’s been hours since the beginning of our conversation, so then I feel so bad for not replying, and I’m just wallowing in the shame of not replying to my friend’s texts – instead of actually texting them back. 

Then, it hits me at 3 in the morning, that dreadful anxiety that goes along the lines of “Oh my god, no one has sent anything into the group chat in SO LONG, are we still friends?” sets in, and I can’t help but wonder if my friends are still my friends. The kind of anxiety that doesn’t let you go back to sleep. The kind of anxiety that really doesn’t wanna leave you alone. 

Loneliness is hard.

It’s hard to dig yourself out of it, because it requires other people to help you. And it’s not exactly the easiest to just reach out to people when you feel like you’re all alone. But the thought that has saved me the most right now, is that I’m not the only one who feels like this. 

Everyone feels lonely right now. 

We all have to isolate ourselves right now. We all feel disconnected from each other. 

So let go of your shame. Message your friends again, even if it’s been a week and you left them on read. Tell them you miss them, send them an abhorrent amount of memes. Send them whatever. Keep yourself connected, because the only way we’ll get used to our new normal, is if we do it together.

 

Nicole is in her undergraduate degree at the University of Alberta, double majoring in Political Science and Women's and Gender Studies. On campus, you can find her volunteering for many organizations, or studying with friends, and getting coffee. During her free time, she loves to sing karaoke, watch cheesy rom-coms, and take all the naps. Find her on Instagram @nicoledegrano! 
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